What Makes a Great Duck Hunting Property
If you’re a veteran duck hunter, you know public properties are over hunted before opening weekend is complete. That influx of eager waterfowlers often pushes many hunters towards the idea of seeking out private property. Whether that means a visit to a friend’s land, leasing, or purchasing a piece of property for yourself, the question arises – what are the best indicators of great waterfowl spot?
Having been a surveyor and seller of waterfowl properties for many years, here are the things I would recommend looking for.
Location, Location, Location
Arkansas property for sale located within the only flooded bottomland hardwood forest for miles around.
The most important factor of a waterfowl property is location. I mean specifically flooded corn and timber near the Mississippi flyway. Food sources and the right habitat are other crucial aspects to look for in a piece of land.
If the property you’re hunting doesn’t already come equipped with a prime duck habitat, you can make that happen yourself. Create an environment that invites and benefits waterfowl by curating a moist-soil duck hole along shallow water. Plant specific seeds, grasses and crops known to be inviting in your area. It’s important to note that, depending on the type of wetlands you are in, there will be different species of ducks present. So doing some research when selecting which vegetation to plant will be important. Check out our blog, What to Look For When Buying Waterfowl Property for some good tips in this area as well as others.
Easy Access Makes All the Difference
If you’re lucky enough to find a property where waterfowl regularly feed and roost, then you need to figure out where to strategically place blinds that are easily accessible. Honestly, when you hunt day in and day out, it can wear on you. So the easier and quicker it is to get in and hunt, the more days you can hunt consistently.
Most people looking to buy waterfowl property would prefer a turn-key, package deal. It’s human nature to simply enjoy the ease of just being able to go right in and hunt. But if a property doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, you can always fine tune. Build a blind with a simple boat shed, and keep the boat down at the river so you can throw and go. Remember, easy is better for both potential buyers and current owners.
You Get What You Give
Waterfowl hunting isn’t a one-and-done sport. You have to be willing to put in the work on a property to create a place ducks will want to come back to. And the more effort you give, the more return you will see. In order to do that, you have to follow sound conservation practices. You can’t expect to hunt land every day. The goal is to give ducks a sanctuary.
You’ve got to be able to change your approach with the wind, weather and the flight patterns. If you can set up your property where you have blinds in a couple locations, that makes a difference too. This is so you don’t overhunt one spot and can adjust your location in accordance with the wind.
Some of my friends start prepping their land as early as August for duck season. Guys in that group really know how to shoot ducks. I’ve seen them take properties where 200 birds were shot in a season and shoot 600 on it. But it’s full time work. They cut extra brush to the blind, and keep on adding as it blows or washes away.
If you treat the land with love, the ducks will love to be there. The key to maintaining healthy vegetation around a duck’s roost is to have developed fertile, moist soil in shallow wetlands and not allow too much overgrowth by partially mowing or disking around the area from time to time. Waterfowl have been known to prefer bodies of water six inches or less when they can find it.
Like anything worthwhile, waterfowl property takes some work on the front end to get a good return. Hopefully some of our insights will inspire you to get on over to that water line to make sure everything feels like home for those ducks.